How Google Wants to Make Starting Up Easier for Entrepreneurs
About a year ago, Google created a team of people with a focus on building and scaling the company's efforts to support startups and communities of entrepreneurs all over the world. This week, Google formally launched Google for Entrepreneurs, the result of the group's efforts to make it easier for startups to connect with Google tools when they need them.
Leading this group is Mary Grove, Google's head of global entrepreneurship outreach. She's spent six of her eight years at Google working on new business development and partnerships with a focus on emerging markets. She's met and worked with entrepreneurs in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
In an email interview, Grove discussed Google for Entrepreneurs and what business owners can expect from this new online resource. What follows is an edited version of that interview.
Entrepreneur: What exactly is Google for Entrepreneurs? Why start it now?
Grove: Google for Entrepreneurs includes all of our programs and partnerships which aim to support startups around the world. We have more than 50 efforts live in about 30 countries. We focus on three things:
1. Partnerships with organizations that have both a global and local footprint to help them scale and help them engage with Google.
2. Google-led programs, such as our Women Entrepreneurs on the Web effort, to help female entrepreneurs connect online and offline at monthly meetups.
3. Helping connect startups with Google products that are relevant to their stage of growth.
Entrepreneur: What sets the products under this Google for Entrepreneurs umbrella apart from other resources on the web?
Grove: On the partnership front, we are working with organizations including Startup Weekend, Women 2.0, Startup America Partnership, iHub in Kenya, and Le Camping in Paris to help support their work and provide access to mentorship and product trainings by Google.
On the product front, we aren't trying to develop new Google products, but rather to make it easier for startups to connect with Google tools when they need them. For example, we have a partnership with Startup America Partnership to offer $1,000 of Adwords credit to match $1,000 spent by any startup in their program. We also have rolled out Google Product Bootcamps together with Startup Weekend to help developers get up to speed on Google products before they head into a startup weekend.
So our focus is on community building -- both directly and by supporting partners who are deeply engaged ... on a global scale.
Entrepreneur: What are Google's long term goals for Google for Entrepreneurs?
Grove: To continue expanding our partnerships and programs. We want to take this a step further as well to see how we can help connect these different communities both online and offline. For example, we use Google+ Hangouts as a great tool to provide remote mentorship to entrepreneurs in different countries. In terms of connecting people offline, we host entrepreneurs from around the world at Campus London, our hub for the startup community there.